That Time I Skipped Class to Meet Phylicia Rashad

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When actress Phylicia Rashad came to my alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, to speak I knew I had to skip class to see her.  I made sure I was one of the first ones in the audience. I had loved Phylicia Rashad from her role on The Cosby Show and I was eager to hear what she had to say.  When I entered the auditorium, I went straight to the front row and sat down.  Good thing I came early, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get a good seat.  Within minutes, the auditorium was filled with students. 

It wasn't long afterwards that Phylicia Rashad was being introduced.  As soon as she finished her speech and opened the floor for questions, my hand shot up like a rocket.  Phylicia Rashad pointed to me to ask the very first question .  When I begin to ask my question she interrupted me and said, "Honey, you need to back to the microphone so everyone can hear your question." I turned around and looked at how far back the microphone was from where I was sitting and gave her a look of lazy desperation. I smiled and asked, "Can't I just ask you from right here?" Lord, why oh why did I say that to Phylicia Rashad?! 

"Girl." She said.  "You better get up and go to that microphone.  You ought to be glad that you even got legs to walk."  Everyone immediately started laughing.  I suddenly felt like I was in a scene from the Cosby Show.  As instructed, I got up, put my head down, and slowly walked back to the microphone.  By the time I made it back there I had to get at the end of a long line of students who were also waiting to ask her a question.  When my turn finally came she said, "Ahh I see you made it. Everyone let's give Ms. Thing a hand for walking all the way back to the microphone."  Everyone roared with handclaps and laughter.  It was a very comical moment, at least for them it was.  If you ever watched one episode of The Cosby Show you knew not to mess with Claire Huxtable but that day I learned that goes for Phylicia Rashad too lol! Even though I skipped class that day I still learned a lesson and got scolded by a famous TV mom.

 

 

 

 

B. Slade Drops New Album - Talks Music, The Church, Family and Starting Over

PHOTO COURTESY OF B.SLADE

PHOTO COURTESY OF B.SLADE

I got a chance to sit down one-on-one with 3 time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer, B. Slade (Formerly known as Tonex). He just dropped his self-titled album, "B. Slade" on October 31st. This new album embodies all of the colorful characteristics that are within B. Slade, hence the name of one of his song titles, Ketchup & Mustard." This album is truly for the young and old, the hip and chic - for anyone who loves good music and wants to have a good time. 

 
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We also talked about B. Slade's controversial interview with gospel singer, Lexi Allen, as well as his family and starting over in his career.

To learn more about B. Slade and all that he is doing, visit, BSladenow.com. Make sure you download the new album, "B. Slade" on iTunes.

 
 

Check out my interview with B. Slade below:

2nd Annual Breaking the Silence Awards Ceremony & Luncheon [VIDEO]

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On Sunday September 24, 2017, Studio Q covered the 2nd Annual Breaking the Silence Awards Ceremony & Luncheon held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalow in Santa Monica, CA. Breaking the Silence Awards (BTSA) a fundraiser event, which ecognizes corporations and community leaders who use their platform of influence to advocate for Sexual & Domestic Abuse Awareness. BTSA raises funds to provide supportive services to GLBT survivors of sexual & domestic abuse. BTSA, a fundraising program of the I Love Me Foundation (ILMFDN), was established in 2015 by Hollywood publicist, Robert Harrell, to utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting new research efforts and to increase awareness about sexual trauma in the GLBT community.

Honorees included: William Institute Founding Executive Director, Brad Sears, Former West Hollywood Mayor, Abbe Land, OUT Magazine Managing Editor, R. Kurt Osenlund, Celebrity DJ & Music Producer, Zeke Thomas, Pulse Orlando Nightclub Shooting Survivor, Angel Colon.

Other guests included: Benjamin Patterson (OWN 'Greenleaf'), Jay Alexander (ANTM), Laith Ashley (NBC 'Strut'), Leeza Gibbons (Entertainment Tonight)James Wright Chanel (Youtube Personality, Pattie Pie Guy)Perez Hilton (Entertainment Blogger), Tammy Townsend (Disney 'K.C. Undercover'), Laura Govan (Basketball Wives LA) and many more.

Watch the Studio Q red carpet interviews below:

Taraji P. Henson, Laverne Cox, Alfre Woodard and More Honored at the 16th Annual Heroes In The Struggle Gala Reception and Awards Presentation

Courtesy of Black Aids Institute

Courtesy of Black Aids Institute

On Saturday September 16, 2017, Tam and I covered Heroes in the Struggle Gala Reception and Awards Presentation held at the Darryl F. Zanuck Theater at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Every year the Black AIDS Institute inducts a select group of individuals and organizations that have made heroic contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Black America into the Heroes in the Struggle Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of Black Aids Institute

Courtesy of Black Aids Institute

This year's theme was "Black Men Honoring Black Women" and included Taraji P. Henson, Alfre Woodard, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Williams, Gina Belafonte, Gina Brown, and Novant Health as the Corporate Hero. Board member and event chair, Jussie Smollett served as the evening's host and celebrated R&B singer/songwriter Ledisi performed a special tribute. 

Watch our Studio Q red carpet coverage below:

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram | YouTube

Check out some photos from my red carpet interviews

Quencie LIVE on @Youtube - Episode 1

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Today I did my first YouTube Livestream show!  And because I actually did it instead of just talking about doing it, I claim it as a roaring success. Sure, they were only 4 people watching, one even being my best friend Tam, but hopefully as time goes on that number will grow. The reason I decided to do a daily YouTube show is because even though I have conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews in the past 5 years, I am only visible in a handful of them. This is mostly because when I re-launched Studio Q online (Studio Q premiered as a community access show in my hometown, Springfield, IL) I was depressed and overweight.  No matter who I was interviewing I never wanted to be in the same camera shot.  It was really not as bad as I felt it was but when you're as depressed as I was at the time no one could convince me otherwise.

I'm such a natural extrovert that I'm sure folks who know me can not imagine me ever wanting to hide myself, but it's true. Normally, I'm able to push through things and overcome obstacles like that, but my depression had a serious grip on me. I was just happy that I could conduct an interview. However, if I had it to do all over again, I would force myself to get in front of that camera no matter what I felt I looked like. Now I understand how important it is to put yourself out there even if you're not happy with every single thing. Imagine if Oprah waited until she was skinny before she shared all her greatness with us.  We would have missed the very best of her.  

So now I have all these great interviews that no one knows I did.  All you really see is my arm, which in all honesty could be anybody's arm.  I remember being on the red carpet and someone asked me how did I get a job at Studio Q. You know you're doing something wrong when the Q in "Studio Q" actually stands for Quencie but nobody knows it lol. I'm doing a daily livestream to change that. Hopefully, by going live Monday-Friday people will get to know who the person is behind the arm holding that microphone.  It's not easy coming out from behind the bushes, but it's time.

On "Quencie Live" (That's the name for now) I will share my interview experiences, what I learned from each interview and some great behind-the-scenes stories. I'm still not where I want to be weight wise, but I'm working on it. What's different now is that I won't let that stop me from being in the camera shot.

In this first episode, I discuss September 11 (16 years later), and my interview with Taraji P. Henson since it's her birthday today. Happy Birthday Taraji! Watch below. 

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram | YouTube

Tam and Quencie with Taraji P Henson 

Tam and Quencie with Taraji P Henson 

Press Play on my first YouTube episode of Quencie Live! 

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett Bring Buffalo Wild Wings to Koreatown (Los Angeles)

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett (Co-Founders of PCF Restaurant Management)

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett (Co-Founders of PCF Restaurant Management)

PCF Restaurant Management Co-Founders, Karim Webb and Edward Barnett celebrated the opening of their newest Buffalo Wild Wings location in Koreatown (Los Angeles, CA) on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Saturday night's "soft-opening" and the Mayweather vs McGregor Fight Night event brought together some of the region's prominent business, philanthropic, entertainment and elected leaders. Over 200 guests feasted on Buffalo Wild Wings signature wings, 16 sauces, 5 seasonings, a wide variety of beers, and craft cocktails. Proceeds from the evenings event went to Korean Churches for Community Development and the Brotherhood Crusade.

As minority business owners, Webb and Barnett are excited to be expanding their footprint into a new and ethnically diverse area. "If I go into a restaurant in a community that I know is diverse and I don't see people that look like the residents in that community, I take note of that," says Webb. He and Barnett pride themselves on being responsive to unique needs of each community their units serve and their ability to engage stakeholders therein. Buffalo Wild Wings Koreatown opens to the public on Monday, August 28th at 11 am.

Check out our Studio Q interviews with the owners Karim and Edward below.  

Check out some of the great photos from the event.

LaRon and Lahmard Tate - Tate Entertainment

LaRon and Lahmard Tate - Tate Entertainment

Nisan Stewart - Musician

Nisan Stewart - Musician

"When Love Kills" TV One Los Angeles Movie Premiere [VIDEO]

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Studio Q attended the Los Angeles premiere of the TV One movie, When Love Kills at the Harmony Gold Theater. Premiering on Monday, August 28th at 9pm ET, When Love Kills tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely, a teen mom who only knows life in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of pimp and predator, Dino. His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; she's forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. 

When Love Kills stars: Niatia "Lil Mama" Kirkland (CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story), Lance Gross (House of Payne, Temptation), Tami Roman (Basketball Wives, Belle's) and Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire) making her feature-length directorial debut.

Check out some of the photos from the red carpet below.

Studio Q correspondent, Tammi Rashonda, who filled in for Quencie, talked to some of the celebrities at the Los Angeles red carpet premiere. Watch our Studio Q interviews below:

Photo cred: Photography By Gip III

Celebrity Connected Gifting Suite Recap - MTV Movie & TV Awards

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, I covered the red carpet for the Celebrity Connected Gifting Suite honoring the MTV Movie & TV Awards held at the W Hotel in Hollywood, CA. There were many celebrities in attendance who received gifts from sponsoring businesses in technology, home decor, beauty, health, food/beverage, fashion/apparel industries and more.

Some vendors include: Hug Life, Diva Stuff, Hemp Kitchen, Aitai Kuji, Sweetopia, Bonjour Clothing, Django Moccasins, Quest, UFrost, Speakeasy 710, Velare, and many more!

Check out my photos and video recap of the event.

Top left: Dawnn Lewis and Shanica Knowles, Sanayya Sidney, Rashad Jenning and Niles Fitch

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie Thomas on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram

Opening Night of #TheBodyguardTheMusical at The Hollywood #Pantages Theater [VIDEO]

Last night, Tam and I (Studio Q) covered LA's premiere of the hit musical, THE BODYGUARD at The Hollywood Pantages theater.  It is an award–winning musical based on the smash–hit film of the same name. Who could forget Kevin Coster as Frank Farmer, the former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron, played by the late great Whitney Houston? It was Whitney's first film, so I was super excited to see this show.  

Judson Mills and Deborah cox

Judson Mills and Deborah cox

Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox stars as Rachel Marron. In the role of the bodyguard Frank Farmer, is television star Judson Mills. I am such a huge Whitney Houston fan so I am very biased when it comes to other people singing her songs, but as soon as Deborah Cox opened her mouth - I was sold! Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, and adapted by Academy Award-winner (BirdmanAlexander DinelarisTHE BODYGUARD featured songs recorded by Whitney Houston including: One Moment in Time, I Have NothingI Wanna Dance with Somebody, Saving All My Love, Run to You, So Emotional and her cover version of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You.  What I loved most about this show is that Deborah Cox was not trying to be Whitney Houston.  She made the songs her own all while celebrating Whitney at the same time. If you love Whitney Houston, then this is a MUST-SEE! If you love the film, The Bodyguard then you are going to like how they adapted it to the stage. If you love and appreciate musical theater and amazing singing - this is a MUST-SEE! And if you are a Deborah Cox fan, you will be in heaven from beginning to end. You will find yourself singing along and celebrating Whitney in a positive way. 

Quencie (Host, Studio Q) and Tam (Producer, Studio Q)

Quencie (Host, Studio Q) and Tam (Producer, Studio Q)

Tam and I had a great time at the show and on the red carpet. The long list of stars who came out to see Deborah Cox in THE BODYGUARD include: Angela Bassett, Courntey B. Vance, Margaret Cho, Bill Bellamy, Mary Mary (Erica and Tina Campbell), Erica Ash, Loni Love, Loretta Devine, Yvette Lee Bowser, Kym Whitley, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Dawnn Lewis, Michael Costello who designed her red carpet gown, plus many more. Scroll down and check out my interview with Deborah Cox and some of the celebrities who attended the event. Add me on snapchat (StudioQTV) to see footage from the whole night!  

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

Erica Ash

Erica Ash

Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine

Photo courtesy of Yvette Nicole Brown Instagram 

Photo courtesy of Yvette Nicole Brown Instagram 

Maronzio Vance on Why Hillary Clinton Lost and America Voted for Donald Trump

Recently, I interviewed comedian Maronzio Vance of TV Land's "Lopez." We covered a wide range of topics in our conversation including politics.  Watch Maronzio share why he thinks America voted for Donald Trump and Hillary lost the election. Press play below.

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie Thomas on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram   

UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Los Angeles [VIDEO]

Here I am with with Lonnie Bunch III

Here I am with with Lonnie Bunch III

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, I attended The Mayor's Masked Ball at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE in Los Angeles, CA. This is one of the largest events put on by UNCF in cities across the United States on the same evening. The LA chapter was hosted by Mayor Garcetti and honored Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and Marx Cazenave a well-known entrepreneur and business Hall of Fame inductee. The ball raised $500,000 for UNCF.

Attendees included: Mayor Eric Garcetti, Lonnie G. Bunch III (Founding Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture), Marx Cazenave (Entrepreneur ), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (I am Legend, Eureka), Michael Jai White (Why Did I Get Married), Laura Govan (Basketball Wives), Dawnn Lewis (Actress & singer), Tiffany Hines (Nikkita, Devious Maids), Lisa Nicole Cloud (Bravo TV's Married to Medicine), T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (In Living Color, That's So Raven), James Wright (WE tv’s “LA Hair”) and Darius McCrary (Next Day Air, Family Matters).

Check out our Studio Q coverage below.

 
Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
 

Marx Cazenave, a well-known entrepreneur and business Hall of Fame inductee.

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Vanessa Bell Calloway's "Sexty" 60th Birthday Party [VIDEO]

Vivica A. Fox and Vanessa Bell Calloway

Vivica A. Fox and Vanessa Bell Calloway

On Saturday, March 18, 2017, I attended Vanessa Bell Calloway's Sexty 60th Birthday party at the Cicado Club in Los Angeles. Vanessa Bell Calloway kicked off her This Is My Sexty campaign for Women's History Month to encourage women to share their secrets to mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Visit HowDoYouRockYourAge.com to learn more about her campaign. Currently, Calloway stars in the hit series Saints & Sinners (Bounce) and recently joined the cast of the STARZ hit Survivor's Remorse in a recurring role.

It is very clear, that 60 never looked so good. Vanessa's party was a pink and grand affair. From the candy bar to the elegant red carpet, everyone who attended had a wonderful time. Some of the attendees include: Vivica A. Fox, Tina Knowles, Star Jones, Debbie Allen, Glen Turman, Jackee' Harry, Kym Whitley, Richard Lawson, James Pickens Jr., Vanessa Williams and many more!

Check out our Studio Q event coverage below:

 

Tony Rock Shares The Biggest Mistake People Make in Dating

I interviewed Tony Rock about his new show "The Game of Dating" which features couples on a real-life date while teams watch, react and compete to win cash prizes.  The one-hour series premieres on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.  Check out what Tony Rock feels is the biggest mistake people make in dating. Watch below. 

Quencie Interviews Kirk Whalum

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I sat down with Jazz great, Kirk Whalum, after the screening of his DVD, "The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter IV" at the West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.  This DVD musically explores the convergence of jazz and gospel infused with rhythm and blues, through a "docu-music concert" DVD and live-recorded double CD with musical messages of tribute, tragedy and triumph - musically illustrating God's radical hospitality. 

Kirk also talks about silly moments with Whitney Houston while on tour, messing up on stage, and what made him go back to music when he almost gave it up.  Check out this in-depth and funny interview that Kirk later tweeted "Best Interview Ever!"  Press Play and see why!

Gerald Albright Talks About His New CD "G" and Playing the Sax with President Bill Clinton

PHOTO COURTESY OF GERALDALBRIGHT.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF GERALDALBRIGHT.COM

Last week, I interviewed the amazing saxophonist, Gerald Albright via Skype about his newly released album "G".  His new album features a remake of Avant's song, "Read Your Mind" as well as collaborations with Michael McDonald and Doug E. Fresh.  It's the perfect soundtrack to any road trip or your Sunday afternoon.  

Gerald and I discussed what it was like for him to play with his daughter, Selina, who is a singer, and also his experience playing with President Bill Clinton. The Bill Clinton story Gerald shares will leave you with stomach pains from laughter. Gerald also participated in our Studio Q  "Lightning Round" which gave us fun answers to rapid-fire questions. You'll discover some really cool things about him that you may not have known.

Support real music and purchase Gerald Albright's new album by clicking here: Gerald Albright "G".   Watch my Skype interview below. 

Eddie Murphy Wows in His First-Ever Dramatic Role in Mr. Church

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINELOU

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINELOU

We all know Eddie Murphy for being a comedic genius. From starring in films like Beverly Hills Cop, Life, Nutty Professor, Shrek and his Oscar-nominated performance as James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls - we expect to have gut-wrenching laughter when Eddie appears on screen. But Mr. Church is different. Mr. Church leaves you in tears, and opens up a bottle of emotions that you didn't think you'd have when watching Eddie Murphy on the movie screen. This is Eddie's first cinematic project in four years, as well as his first dramatic role. Well, he better start getting fittings for his tuxedo because he'll need it to wear to the Oscars for Best Actor.

Eddie Murphy plays Henry Church, a cook who was hired to work for a dying, single mother Marie (Natascha McElhone). Marie is dying of breast cancer and has 6 months to live. So her ex-lover hires Mr. Church to cook for Marie and her young daughter Charlie (first Natalie Coughlin, then Britt Robertson). Initially, Charlie is not very happy with this arrangement, and is quite mean to Mr. Church. But over time, and good food, she opens up and grows to love and adore him. The 6 months Mr. Church was hired to be the cook, turned into 6 years. And before your very eyes, you see the love and joy that Mr. Church has brought to Charlie and her mom - they become family. 

Based on a true story written by Susan McMartin and directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Mr. Church draws us in with Murphy's subtle and quiet warmth. A lot of people may say, this is yet another cliche' story of black characters who are the hired help and somehow become the saving grace to a white family. But, those stories typically are about black people who are treated as the "hired help" and are disrespected on so many levels. One thing you can say about Mr. Church is that he is very respected, and is more than just hired help. He becomes the glue that holds everything together in the family.

Marie eventually passes away from breast cancer, and one would think that Mr. Church's job is now done. But when you're family, there is no going away - it only makes Mr. Church and Charlie's bond even stronger. We see Charlotte’s coming-of-age adventures which include her best friend Poppy (Lucy Fry) and the local drunk Larson (Christian Madsen). More importantly, we get to see a very unique relationship with Mr. Church - even as Charlie leaves for college and later enters motherhood. 

Mr. Church premieres in theaters this Friday September 16, 2016.  If you want to see Eddie Murphy like you've never seen him before, make sure you check this film out!  And please, don't forget your kleenex.

Last week, I attended the red carpet movie premiere in Hollywood, CA. Check out our interviews from Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Bruce Beresford, Susan McMartin and other members of the cast below.

Fun Studio Q moments on the red carpet... 

Studio Q Host, Quencie, after interviewing Eddie

Studio Q Host, Quencie, after interviewing Eddie

Eddie Murphy being interviewed

Eddie Murphy being interviewed

Arsenio Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arsenio Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Director, Bruce Beresford

Director, Bruce Beresford

Studio Q Producer, Tam, with Arsenio Hall

Studio Q Producer, Tam, with Arsenio Hall

Eddie Murphy smiling for the cameras

Eddie Murphy smiling for the cameras

Writer, Susan McMartin

Writer, Susan McMartin

Natalie Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin

47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon - Studio Q Interviews [VIDEO]

On Saturday, January 23, I attended the 47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.  The luncheon was co-hosted by Black-ish (ABC) stars Marcus Scribner and Yara Shahidi.  

Other celebrities in attendance included: Anthony Anderson, Tyrese, Laverne Cox, Loretta Devine, Joe Morton, Sheryl Underwood, Naturi Naughton, Teyonah Paris, RonReaco Lee, Cornelius Smith, Jr., Miles Brown and many more.

Check out some of my Studio Q interviews below:

Chaka Khan Plays The Drums To Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" [VIDEO]

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

While attending the "Daughters of Soul" launch party, we got a chance to witness greatness - Chaka Khan getting on the drums and jamming to Stevie Wonder's "I Wish."  What a treat!  

Chaka attended the "Daughters of Soul" event because her daughter, Indira Khan, is a part of the project.  Founded by singer, Sandra St. Victor, Daughters of Soul include daughters of six soul legends: Lalah Hathaway (Donny Hathaway), Lisa Simone (Nina Simone), Indira Khan (Chaka Khan), Kori Withers (Bill Withers), Syleena Johnson (Syl Johnson) and Sylvette “Phunne” Stone (The Family Stone’s Sly Stone and Cynthia Robinson). 

Sandra St. Victor has a PledgeMusic campaign to help with the Daughters of Soul documentary, soundtrack and worldwide tour.  Please support this project and the legacy of Soul Music by clicking here: PledgeMusic 

Check out Chaka Khan grooving on the skins (as she called them) below: